Scott Westfahl

Professor of Practice

Director, Executive Education

Lewis 325

617-495-5559

Assistant: Phoebe Tamminen / 617--496-1673

Biography

Scott Westfahl is the Director of HLS Executive Education and also teaches courses on problem solving, teams, networks and innovation within the law school's J.D. curriculum. As the Director of the Executive Education program, he leads the HLS effort to support and develop lawyers across the arc of their careers, particularly as they advance to new levels of leadership and responsibility. He oversees and teaches in Executive Education's core, global leadership programs for law firm managing partners, emerging law firm leaders, law firm associates and General Counsel. He also collaborates with HLS colleagues and other Harvard faculty to design and teach custom programs for law firms, law departments and other legal-related organizations. He focuses his Executive Education teaching and writing on leadership, motivation and development of professionals, innovation and organizational alignment from a talent management and diversity and inclusion perspective.

Professor Westfahl joined HLS from the law firm Goodwin Procter LLP, where he served from 2004-2013 as the firm's Director of Professional Development. In that role, he was responsible for all aspects of the professional development of the firm's attorneys and staff, focusing on organizational and leadership development, feedback, mentoring, career progression, diversity, professional skills training, attorney and staff integration and transitions and alumni. As a Lecturer on Law from 2010-2013, he teamed with Professor David Wilkins to teach an 80-student section of the law school's Problem Solving Workshop for first-year students. In 2008, Professor Westfahl was chosen as one of Law Firm, Inc. magazine's five "Innovators of the Year" for his development of a cutting edge attorney assignment system and database called iStaff, which effectively ties attorney work assignments to their professional development needs. From 2009 to 2011, he served as the Chair of the Professional Development Consortium, a 500-member professional association for law firm professional development and training leaders across North America and the U.K. Professor Westfahl frequently lectures and comments upon talent development within professional services firms and is the author of the book You Get What You Measure: Lawyer Development Frameworks and Effective Performance Evaluations (NALP, 2008).

Prior to his work at Goodwin Procter, Professor Westfahl spent six years leading professional development for the Washington, D.C. office of McKinsey & Company. He is also an experienced business and federal regulatory attorney, having practiced law with Foley & Lardner's Washington, D.C. office from 1988 to 1998. Professor Westfahl earned his J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1988, and graduated summa cum laude from Dartmouth College in 1985.

Areas of Interest

Scott Westfahl, Performance Management and Rewards: A Wealth of Opportunities, in Innovating Talent Management in Law Firms 305 (Terri Mottershead ed., 2016).
Categories:
Legal Profession
Sub-Categories:
Legal Services
Type: Book
Scott Westfahl, Learning to Lead: Perspective on Bridging the Lawyer Leadership Gap, in Leadership for Lawyers: Essential Leadership Strategies for Law Firm Success 79 (Rebecca Normand-Hochman & Heidi K. Gardner eds., 2015).
Categories:
Legal Profession
Sub-Categories:
Legal Services
,
Legal Education
Type: Book
Abstract
This practical handbook explores the crucial elements of leadership in legal practice.
Scott Westfahl, More Women Means More Success, 100 Women Law. J., no. 2, 2015, at 26.
Categories:
Legal Profession
Type: Article
Scott A. Westfahl & David B. Wilkins, The Leadership Imperative: A Collaborative Approach to Professional Development in the Global Age of More for Less, 69 Stan. L. Rev. 1667 (2017).
Categories:
Corporate Law & Securities
,
Legal Profession
Sub-Categories:
Legal Education
,
Legal Services
Type: Article
Abstract
Notwithstanding the increasing importance of technology, the practice of corporate law is—and is likely to remain for the foreseeable future—a human capital business. As a result, law firms must continue to attract, develop, and retain talented lawyers. Unfortunately, the traditional approach, which divides responsibility for professional development among law schools, which are supposed to teach students to think like a lawyer; law firms, which are expected to train associates to “be” lawyers; and corporate clients, whose job it is to foot the bill, is no longer well aligned to the current realities of the marketplace. In this Article, we document the causes for this misalignment and propose a new model of professional development in which law schools, law firms, and corporate clients collaborate to train lawyers to be lifelong learners in the full range of technical, professional, and network-building skills they will need to flourish throughout their careers. We offer specific proposals for how to achieve this realignment and confront the resistance that will inevitably greet any attempt to do so.
Carrie Fletcher & Scott Westfahl, Accelerated Strengths Development, 39 Law Prac. Mag., May-June 2013, at 29.
Categories:
Legal Profession
Sub-Categories:
Legal Education
,
Legal Services
Type: Article
Scott Westfahl, Response: Time to Collaborate on Lawyer Development, 59 J. Legal Educ. 645 (2010).
Categories:
Legal Profession
Sub-Categories:
Legal Education
Type: Article
Scott Westfahl, You Get What You Measure: Lawyer Development Frameworks & Effective Performance Evaluations (Nat'l Ass'n L. Placement 2008).
Categories:
Legal Profession
Sub-Categories:
Legal Education
,
Legal Reform
,
Legal Services
Type: Book
Abstract
"You get what you measure" may be an old adage, but it remains true. If a law firm wants to develop its next generation of leaders, the firm must first identify what skills and traits those lawyers should possess and then implement performance evaluations to measure individual and organizational lawyer development accordingly. This book presents a range of ideas from the corporate world that are now being introduced successfully into the legal profession. Numerous charts and sample forms are also featured throughout the book.
Scott A. Westfahl, Alan D. Rutenberg & Ilene Knable Gotts, Lobbying Laws, Legal Times, Feb. 12, 1996, at S39.
Categories:
Government & Politics
Sub-Categories:
Congress & Legislation
,
Politics & Political Theory
Type: Article
Ilene Knable Gotts, Janell G. Mayo, & Scott A. Westfahl, Industry Ponders New Labeling Rules, Nat'l L.J., Mar. 7, 1994, at 23.
Categories:
Health Care
,
Government & Politics
Sub-Categories:
Administrative Law & Agencies
,
Food & Drug Law
Type: Article

Academic Appointment and Employment History

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Lewis 325

617-495-5559

Assistant: Phoebe Tamminen / 617--496-1673